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Bergamot or Monarda didyma red colours is an excellent herb for the garden and the kitchen, and is worth growing for its fabulous dark pink, red and purple flowers, which smell pleasantly of oranges. As a plant, Bergamot is a fabulous addition to the flower border, both for its attractive flowering habit, and as they attract bees into the garden in great numbers, hence its poplar name 'bee balm'. Bergamot is originally from North America, and was used by native Americans, who brewed a strong palatable tea from it.
Bergamot is a perennial that grows best in soil that stays damp in the summer, however it dislikes damp winters. Prefering sun, Bergamot or Monarda didyma will adapt to shade, and does make a nice container plant.
The uses of bergamot are mostly in the culinary department, where fresh young leaves can be used sparingly in a salad, fruit salads and fruit drinks, and five or six large fresh leaves or 1 teaspoon dried leaves in 8 ounces boiling water make a refreshing and relaxing tea. Bergamot has an affinity to pork and will improve the flavour of most pork dishes if added during cooking.